9 Best 1500-Watt Amps

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If you are looking for the best 1500-Watt Amp for your car speaker system, you’ve come to the right place. Our article on 9 best 1500-Watt amps is designed to help you understand what to look for and what to avoid. There are all kinds of amps on the market but they don’t all offer the same kind of performance and many of them can’t even deliver the advertised power output. If you already know all the tricks the manufacturers use to sell their amps and you are just looking for some nice suggestions, you can now skip to our list of 9 best 1500-Watt amps. 

What’s the Purpose of a Car Amp? 

Car amp, as the name implies, receives and amplifies the audio signal coming from your head unit and sends it to your speakers. Without the amp, your speakers would be quiet and would sound dull. Most of today’s cars have some kind of built-in amp located behind the head unit. For some people, these small built-in amps are just enough. However, some people want more. If you are one them and you are thinking of buying an additional subwoofer because you want to add some thump to your music or if you want to upgrade your entire car audio system, you are going to need a new car amp. That small built-in amp is simply insufficient, especially if you want to install a large subwoofer in your trunk. So, a new amp is a must. But what kind of amp? This brings us to the second chapter. 

What’s the Perfect Car Amp for Your Needs?

What do you want to accomplish? This is the first question you should ask yourself, even before you start searching. Upgrading a car audio system requires a lot of knowledge, patience, and money. Wasting your time or, even worse, your money, is not something you want. So, ask yourself what kind of upgrade you want to make. Depending on the type, size, and power rating of your speaker (or speakers), you will need a different amp. So, let’s get started. 

The number of channels (mono, stereo, multichannel) and amplification type (class AB or class D)

If you want to install an additional subwoofer and you don’t want to make any upgrades in the future, buying a mono amp (aka monoblock), is the perfect solution. The majority of monoblocks are class-D amps (they use digital amplification). Digital amplification is more efficient which is very important when you need to pump a lot of power (500W+ or 100W+) continuously into the speaker. Also, digital amplification enables lower operating temperatures which is very important for stable performance, especially when you are trying to push that much power. In the end, digital amplification offers very good and perfectly controlled low-end (bass) reproduction. It’s pretty clear why class-D mono amps are the best option if you just want to add a subwoofer. 

If you want to replace your stereo speakers or stereo and rear speakers with some more powerful speakers, you will need a 2-channel or 4-channel amp. Most of 2-channel, 3-channel, and other multichannel amps are class-AB amps. In many aspects, class-D amps are better than class A or class-AB amps (smaller, lower operating temperatures, more efficient) but they simply don’t sound as good as class-A and AB amps when it comes to midrange and treble reproduction (not full enough and too bright). So, if you want to install full-range speakers, you should go for the class-AB amp. 

In case you want to upgrade all the speakers and add a subwoofer on top of that, you have multiple options. You could use two amps – one 2-channel/4-channel class AB amp with RCA outputs (for daisy-chaining with another amp) for the speakers, and one class-D mono amp for the subwoofer. You could also pay more and buy one 5-channel hybrid amp (4 Class-AB channels + 1 Class-D subwoofer channel). You could even buy a 6-channel amp – use four channels for your speakers and bridge the remaining two to supply enough power to the subwoofer.

Allowed Impedance (max and min) and Power ratings (Peak and RMS)

Impedance and power ratings are closely related. If you already have speakers, you should be looking for the amp that can push enough power continuously into a given load (load is speaker’s impedance). If some amp is advertised as 1500W amp, it usually means that it can push up to 1500W (not 1500W continuously). So 15000W is the peak power output, not the RMS output. In some cases, especially when it comes to more reputable manufacturers and more expensive amps, 1500W is the RMS power output. So, you have to be careful and check all the specs. 

If you, for example, have two or four 4Ω speakers with 250W RMS rating, you will need a 2-channel or 4-channel amp that can output at least 250W continuously (or more) per channel. You could buy an amp that outputs 200W per channel but it will never sound as good as some more powerful amp and it will get much hotter over time. Matching the impedance and power ratings doesn’t sound that hard but there is one thing that makes things much harder. Some manufacturers are not that honest about their power ratings, which brings us to our next topic. 

ProductPriceOverall RatingReview
Planet Audio AC1500.1MUnder $1003.9Read Review
New Rockville RXA-T1Under $1004.1Read Review
BOSS Audio RiotUnder $1004.1Read Review
Audiopipe APCL-15001DUnder $2004.2Read Review
Hifonics BrutusUnder $2004.0Read Review
Pioneer GM-D8601Under $2004.1Read Review
Skar AudioOver $2004.2Read Review
NEW OrionOver $2004.3Read Review
Rockford FosgateOver $2004.0Read Review

How to Avoid Buying an Amp That Cannot Deliver Enough Power to Your Speakers?

Some manufacturers, especially cheap generic brands, are not very honest about the power ratings. They publish some numbers but these numbers are quite arbitrary and don’t represent the actual power output of their amps. There are a few simple things you could do to avoid buying something that’s not good enough for your needs.

First thing you could do is to completely avoid all the amps under $100. All those budget amps made by generic brands are not as good as the manufacturers are claiming. Most of them can only deliver 25-30% of the advertised power output. 

Second, you could do some calculations on your own and get an approximate max power output. If you already know the voltage provided by your car battery (the average voltage while driving is 14.4V), amplification type (class-AB or Class-D), and average/max current draw  (fuse rating) which is usually given in the user manual, you can calculate the approximate max power output by applying the equation given below. 

This equation is just a simplified practical form of the Ohm’s Law. It’s not going to give you a perfectly accurate power output but it represents a nice guideline and it could give you the basic idea of what an amplifier is capable of.

If you want even more accurate info on power output, you can search for Amp Dyno tests on YouTube. There are more and more of these tests for all kinds of amps. They can really help you avoid buying a crappy amp. 

Now that you know what to look for and what to avoid, let’s move onto our selection of 9 best 1500-Watt amps. Our list of 9 best amps is divided into three parts – best amps under $100, best amps under $200, and best amps over $200. 


Best 1500-Watt Amps Under $100

As you already know, none of the 1500-Watt amps under $100, can deliver the advertised 1500 Watts. We have calculated the actual max power output for each of these amps so you could know what to expect from them. 

1. Planet Audio AC1500.1M

Planet Audio AC1500.1M

Editor’s Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Planet Audio is one of many generic brands on the market. Their amps are super-cheap so don’t expect them to blow you away. Their AC1500.1M is a monoblock class-AB amp with an advertised max power output of 1500W. Unfortunately, these advertised power ratings are very far from what this amp can actually output. If you have a 1000W subwoofer and you need some powerful amp, AC1500.1M is not a good option. This thing could push enough power into your 200W RMS subwoofer and that’s pretty much all you can expect from it. 

Impressions

AC1500.1M comes along with a wired bass remote, mounting screws, user manual, and 1-year warranty (can be extended to 6 years if the purchase is made through Amazon).

The amp looks simple and clean. There’s a nice backlit Anarchy sign on the top. The amp is quite small and compact – it’s 10in long, 10in wide, and 2.54in tall. 

AC1500.1M has both input types – high-level and low-level RCA inputs with a variable input sensitivity. 

There’s a variable low pass crossover (the frequency range spans from 40Hz to 90Hz). You also have an adjustable bass boost (up to +18dB). If you want to, you can also install the bass level remote. 

AC1500.1M has the min allowed impedance of 2Ω and it’s not stable at 1Ω. 

The amp features short circuit and overheat protection.

When it comes to power ratings, the advertised values are quite controversial. Based on the fusing (fuses are rated at 30A), this amp cannot deliver the advertised output. If you apply the equation given in the introduction, you’ll get 259.2W which is not even close to 1500W. 

We couldn’t find the RMS power ratings. The manufacturer publishes only max power outputs (1500W at 2Ω, 750W at 4Ω). This thing can probably push 150W-200W continuously. 

Advantages

  • Small and compact 
  • Easy to install
  • High and low-level inputs
  • Variable low-pass crossover filters (45Hz-90Hz)
  • Variable bass boost (up to +18dB) and bass level remote
  • Stable at 2Ω-8Ω
  • Short-circuit and overheat protection

Disadvantages 

  • Not stable at 1Ω
  • The actual max power output is much lower than advertised (259W VS 1500W)

2. New Rockville RXA-T1

New Rockville RXA-T1

Editor’s Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

What makes New Rockville amps different from all the other cheap amps on the market is the CEA-2006 certification. All the Rockville amps are compliant with the CEA-2006 standard and, if you read their manuals, you will find two different power ratings (certified and uncertified). RXA-T1 is a 2-channel class-AB amp with an advertised power output of 1500W. Like all the other cheap amps, RXA-T1 can’t push 1500W. 

Impressions

RXA-T1 looks quite stylish mostly thanks to that brushed aluminum housing. Along with the amp, you’ll get mounting screws, user manual, and 1-year warranty.

The amp is 13in long, 8.5in wide, and 1.8in tall. So, it’s quite slim and it should easily fit under your seat. 

RXA-T1 has both, high-level and low-level RCA inputs. It also features RCA outputs for connecting another amp.

You have a variable low-pass and high-pass crossover filters. Low-pass frequency range spans from 50Hz to 250Hz while the high-pass frequency range spans from 15Hz to 250Hz. The amp also has the bass boost knob (up to +12dB). Unlike some other cheap amps, there’s no bass remote input.

The min allowed impedance in stereo mode is 2Ω. The amp is bridgeable and the min impedance in bridged mode is 4Ω. 

RXA-T1 is fused at 50A. If you apply that equation, you will get the approximate max power output of 432W. This represents some 30% of the advertised power output. So, if you have some more demanding speakers (something like 300W RMS each), this amp is not a good choice.

You will find two sets of power ratings in the user manual. According to the CEA-certified specs, RXA-T1 will push 125W per channel continuously (at 4Ω) or 185W per channel (at 2Ω).

Uncertified specs are a bit more optimistic. The manufacturer claims that the amp can pump 250W per channel continuously (into 4Ω speakers), 375W per channel (into 2Ω speakers), or 750W per channel (into one 4Ω speaker, bridged mode).

Advantages

  • Slim and compact
  • High and low-level inputs
  • RCA pre-amp outputs 
  • Variable low-pass (50Hz-250Hz) and high-pass (15Hz-250Hz) crossover filters
  • Variable bass boost (0-12dB)
  • Stable at 2Ω-8Ω in stereo mode
  • Stable at 4Ω-8Ω in bridged mode
  • CEA-certified RMS power ratings

Disadvantages 

  • Not stable at 1Ω in stereo mode
  • Not stable at 1Ω-3Ω in bridged mode
  • The actual max power output is not on par with the advertised power output 

3. BOSS Audio Riot R1600M

BOSS Audio Riot R1600M

Editor’s Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

BOSS Audio is one of the most popular cheap generic brands when it comes to car amps. BOSS Audio Riot R1600M is a 1-channel class-AB amp. The advertised max power output is 1600W but, just like all the other cheap amps, BOSS R1600M cannot push that much. In terms of power output, R1600M is pretty similar to previously reviewed New Rockville RXA-T1 but they are different kinds of amps (1-channel VS 2-channel). This amp can probably push a sufficient amount of power into one 300W RMS subwoofer. You will need something more powerful and more expensive for power-hungry subwoofers (something like 500W RMS).

Impressions

The package contains your R1600M car amp, wired bass remote, mounting screws, user manual, and 1-year warranty.

The amp looks clean and compact. That brushed aluminum chassis and backlit BOSS logo make it look quite stylish. R1600M is 12.3in long, 10.4in wide, and 2.3in tall. Installing the amp should not be a huge hassle.

R1600M has both input types – low-level (RCA) and high-level so you don’t have to buy any adapters. 

The amp has a variable low-pass crossover filter. Crossover frequency spans from 50Hz to 250Hz. The amp also has a variable bass boost (up to +12dB) and wired bass remote.

R1600-M is stable at 2Ω-8Ω, but it’s not stable at 1Ω. The amp features two 25A fuses (50A combined). According to our calculations, the amp can output up to 432W (approximately). 

As you can see, 432W is not even close to 1600W but, at this price point, you can hardly get more than that. The manufacturer doesn’t offer any info on the RMS power ratings. Based on our experience, the RMS power output is between 250W and 300W. So, if you have a 500W RMS subwoofer, this BOSS amp is a bad choice (it would become really hot in a short time).

The amp features overheat and short circuit protection.

Advantages

  • Compact and easy to install 
  • High and low-level (RCA) inputs 
  • Variable low-pass crossover filter (50Hz-250Hz)
  • Variable bass boost knob (up to 12dB) and bass level remote
  • Stable at 2Ω-8Ω
  • Overheat and short circuit protection

Disadvantages 

  • Not stable at 1Ω
  • Cannot deliver those advertised 1600W (max power output is only 432W)
  • It doesn’t have a subsonic filter

Best 1500-Watt Amps Under $200

The next three amps offer much better and more stable performance than all the budget amps. Even more importantly, they are not crazy expensive. So, if you want a 1500-Watt amp that can actually push 1500 Watts (or, at least, close to 1500W) and if you want to save some money in the process, these amps under $200 are all viable choices. 

4. Audiopipe APCL-15001D Mono Amp

Audiopipe APCL-15001D Mono Amp

Editor’s Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Audiopipe APCL-15001D is one of the best and one of our favorites when it comes W/$ ratio. This is a 1-channel Class-D amp. 1500W is the advertised RMS power output (at 1Ω) and, surprisingly, this amp gets pretty close to those advertised values. You have a few amp dyno tests on YouTube and you should check them out. If you can’t spend more than $160, APCL-15001D is a perfectly viable choice.

Impressions

The package contains your mono amp, bass remote, mounting screws, user manual, and 1-year warranty. Wiring kit is not included in the package.

The amplifier is compact but not that small. You should carefully plan the placement and installation. APCL-15001D is 14.1in long, 7in wide, and 2.2in tall. 

APCL-15001D has only low-level RCA inputs. There are no high-level inputs and you will need an adapter if your head unit doesn’t have RCA outputs. The amp also has RCA bridge-in and bridge-out ports for daisy-chaining two amps (of the same kind).

The amp has a variable low-pass crossover filter (40Hz-180Hz) as well as subsonic filter (0Hz-50Hz). You also have the bass boost knob (up to +12dB) and you can choose the frequency you want to boost (30Hz-80Hz). You can also install and use the bass level remote instead of bass boost knob on the unit.

The amp is fused at 100A and it’s stable at 1Ω. The advertised continuous output (at 1Ω, mono operation) is 1500W. The amp can’t deliver 1500W continuously but it gets pretty close. Our equation says that the max power output is 1152W (at 1Ω) but, in reality, it can deliver even more (you should watch those dyno tests on YouTube).

The amp will pump 950W continuously into one 2Ω speaker or 600W into one 4Ω speaker. If you have a large 500W or even 1000W/2Ω subwoofer and you are wondering if this amp can pump enough power, you can be assured that APCL-15001D is perfectly capable of powering your subwoofer.

Advantages

  • Compact
  • Low-level (RCA) inputs
  • RCA bridge-in and bridge-out ports 
  • Variable low-pass filter (40Hz-180Hz) and variable subsonic filter (0Hz-50Hz)
  • Bass boost knob (up to +12dB) and adjustable bass boost frequency (30Hz-80Hz)
  • Stable at 1Ω (one speaker connected in mono mode)
  • Stable and reliable performance with a pretty impressive power output
  • Excellent W/$ ration 

Disadvantages 

  • There are no high-level inputs

5. Hifonics BRX1516.1D Brutus

Hifonics BRX1516.1D Brutus

Editor’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Hifonics amps are maybe not as good as they used to be, but they are definitely not crappy. Considering the price, they offer more than satisfying performance. Hifonics BRX1516.1D is a class-D mono amp with an advertised power output of 1500W. What we hate about Hifonics amps are their specs. It feels like the manufacturer doesn’t care about giving the full specs. So, there’s no way to know whether 1500W is RMS or Peak unless you test it. The specs list is missing some important details. Also, some reviewers and online dealers claimed that BRX amps are CEA-certified but there is no info on the CEA certification in the manual and, more importantly, there are no CEA-certified power ratings. 

Impressions

The box contains your amp, bass knob (with a cable), mounting screws, user manual, and 1-year warranty. Wiring kit is not included.

The amp doesn’t look very sophisticated, but it does look nice in the dark because of the blue lighting (backlit Hifonics logo and ports). The amp is 12.5in long, 10in wide, and 2.5in tall. 

BRX1516.1D features only low-level RCA inputs. There are no high-level inputs. You also have two RCA preamp outputs for daisy-chaining another amp. 

The amp features a variable low-pass crossover filter (35Hz-250Hz) and a variable subsonic filter (15Hz-35Hz). You can also adjust the bass to your likings thanks to bass boost (up to 10dB) and bass remote. 

BRX1516.1D has overload, overheat, and short circuit protection.

Now that you know some basic stuff about inputs, outputs, and controls, let’s discuss the power ratings. The amp is fused at 140A (two 70A fuses). If you apply that equation from the introduction, you will get 1612W. So, the approximate max power output is greater than 1500W which is pretty cool.  

As we’ve said earlier, you can hardly figure out if the advertised power ratings are RMS or Peak, but according to our calculations, these are probably the peak values. Based on the specs, this amp can pump 1500W into 1Ω load, 900W into 2Ω load, and 500W into 4Ω load. 

Advantages

  • Compact and easy to install
  • Low-level RCA inputs
  • RCA daisy-chain outputs
  • Variable low-pass (35Hz-250Hz) and subsonic (15Hz-35Hz) filters
  • Bass boost (up to 10dB) and bass level remote
  • 3-way protection – overload, overheat, short circuit
  • Stable at 1Ω
  • Stable and reliable performance with 1500W+ max power output (at 1Ω)

Disadvantages 

  • It doesn’t have high-level inputs

6. Pioneer GM-D8601

Pioneer GM-D8601

Editor’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pioneer is one of the most popular and most recognizable brands when it comes to car audio equipment, especially when it comes to head units. Their amps are maybe not as praised as their head units and subwoofers, but they deserve your attention. All the Pioneer amps are CEA-certified and, even though their peak power ratings are a bit optimistic, their CEA-certified RMS ratings are very accurate so you can be assured that the amp will deliver the advertised power output. We are presenting to you Pioneer’s GM-8601 class-D mono amp with an advertised max power output of 1600W. 

Impressions

The amplifier comes along with a wired bass level remote, high-to-low adapter, mounting screws, user manual, and 1-year warranty (extendable to 3 years). Wiring kit is not included. 

The amp looks nice and sleek. It’s compact and relatively small. The amp is 10.4in long, 7.9in wide, and 2.4in tall.

GM-D8601 features only low-level RCA inputs but it comes with high-to-low adapters so you don’t have to buy any additional equipment (except for the wiring kit). The amp also has two RCA line outputs (not preamp outputs). 

The amp features a variable low-pass crossover filter (40Hz-240Hz) but has no subsonic filter. There is no bass boost knob on the unit itself but you can install the included bass remote which is the same thing. Bass boost is centered at 50Hz frequency and allows you to boost the bass by up to 18dB.

The amplifier is fused at 80A (it uses two 40A fuses). If you apply that equation given in the introduction, you will get the actual max power output of 921W which is not that close to the advertised max output (1600W). 

RMS power ratings are CEA-certified and very accurate. You can watch some of the amp dyno tests on YouTube and see for yourself. The amp will push 300W continuously at 4Ω, 500W at 2Ω, and 800W at 1Ω. 

GM-8601 features 3-way protection (overheat, overload, short circuit). 

Advantages

  • Small and compact
  • Easy to install 
  • Low-level RCA inputs 
  • RCA outputs
  • Variable low-pass crossover filter (40Hz-240Hz)
  • Bass boost remote (up to 18dB)
  • CEA-certified RMS power ratings
  • Stable and reliable performance
  • 3-way protection – overheat, overload, short circuit

Disadvantages 

  • It doesn’t have a subsonic filter
  • It doesn’t have high-level inputs (high-to-low adapter is included in the package)

Best 1500-Watt Amps Over $200

The next three amps are our top picks. They can all pump 1500W and then some more. These amps are advertised as 1500W amps, but they can actually output 1500 Watts continuously (1500W is their RMS, not their peak power output). 

7. Skar Audio SKv2-1500.1D

Skar Audio SKv2-1500.1D

Editor’s Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Skar Audio is one of our favorite brands. Their amps are not crazy expensive and their power ratings are usually very accurate. You won’t see any overrated power outputs here. We are presenting to you Skar Audio SKv2-1500.1D, class-D mono amp. 1500W is the advertised RMS power output while the peak power output is rated at 2200W. 

Impressions

The packaging contains your Skar Audio mono amp, bass knob, user manual, and 1-year warranty. 

The amp looks nice and sleek. It’s not super-small but it should fit your trunk fairly easily. The amp is 13.8in long, 9.1in wide, and 2.4in tall. 

The amp features only RCA (low-level) inputs. There are no high-level inputs. It also has RCA outputs for strapping. 

SKv2-1500.1D has both low-pass and subsonic crossover filters. Low-pass frequency range spans from 35Hz to 250Hz, while the subsonic frequency range spans from 10Hz to 50Hz.

The amp also has one bass boost dial on the unit itself (0-9dB) and an additional bass remote. There’s also the phase shift switch (0-180°).

The amp features one 150A fuse which will, according to our calculations, allow the max power output of 1843W. The manufacturer’s power rating is a bit more optimistic (2200W) but it’s pretty close. The Amp Dyno tests on YouTube show even greater values.

Based on the Amp Dyno tests, this class-D mono amp can deliver 1500W continuously (at 1Ω) or 930W (at 2Ω). As you can see, the amp is 1Ω-stable and, if this power output is not enough, it’s good to know that the amp can be strapped. SKv2-1500.1D could, for example, power some 2Ω 1000W RMS subwoofer fairly easily. Some customers have reported that it can supply enough power to the 15in EVL-15 D2 subwoofer (1250W RMS, 2500W Peak, 2Ω) which is quite impressive but we wouldn’t go that far.

The amp features 4-way protection – overheat, overload, short circuit, and DC protection

Advantages

  • Sleek and compact
  • RCA low-level inputs
  • RCA outputs
  • Variable low-pass (35Hz-250Hz) and subsonic (10Hz-50Hz) crossover filters
  • Variable bass boost (0-9dB) and bass remote
  • Stable at 1Ω
  • Strappable
  • Delivers 1500W continuously at 1Ω
  • Stable and reliable performance
  • 4-way protection

Disadvantages 

  • It lacks high-level inputs

8. NEW Orion XTR1500.1Dz

NEW Orion XTR1500.1Dz

Editor’s Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

Orion Car Audio makes quite powerful and relatively affordable equipment. Their New Orion XTR1500.1Dz class-D mono amp is a real beast and it can be yours for less than $250 which is a great deal. This amp is CEA-certified and those certified ratings confirm that the amp can deliver 1500W continuously (at 1Ω load). If your limit is set to $250 or $300, New Orion XTR1500.1D is an excellent choice.

Impressions

XTR1500.1Dz comes along with a wired bass remote, user manual, and 1-year warranty. 

The amplifier is 11.5in wide, 9.3in wide, and 2.5in tall. It’s not crazy large especially considering those impressive power ratings.

The amp features only low-level RCA inputs (no high-level inputs). Thanks to the RCA outputs and Data Link port, it can be daisy-chained with another amp (of the same kind). 

You have a variable low-pass crossover filter (15Hz-250Hz) and variable subsonic filter (0-25Hz).

The amp features bass boost (up to 18dB). If you want to adjust the bass response, you can use the bass boost knob on the unit itself or the bass remote that comes with the amp. 

XTR-1500.1Dz has some crazy power ratings. The advertised max power output is a bit too optimistic (6000W). Based on the fuse rating and amplification type, this amp can deliver 2880W max (see the equation below).

On the other hand, the advertised RMS ratings are accurate and CEA-certified. This amp can push 1500W continuously at 1Ω (with less than 1% distortion), 975W at 2Ω, or 600W at 4Ω. All the amp dyno tests on YouTube also confirm these power ratings. 

The amp is stable at 1Ω and, if 1500W is not enough, you can always strap two of these amps together. New Orion XTR1500.1Dz can easily drive your 1000W/2Ω subwoofer. 

The amp features overheat protection, DC offset, short protection, and under-voltage protection. 

Advantages

  • Compact, relatively small, and well-built
  • Low-level RCA inputs
  • Strappable (RCA outputs and Data Link port)
  • Variable low-pass (15Hz-250Hz) and subsonic (0-25Hz) crossover filters 
  • Variable bass boost (up to 18dB) and bass remote
  • Stable at 1Ω
  • Impressive CEA-certified power ratings, especially considering the price (1500W at 1Ω)
  • Very stable and reliable performance
  • 4-way protection

Disadvantages 

  • It doesn’t have high-level (speaker level) inputs

9. Rockford Fosgate T1500-1bdCP

 

Editor’s Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

As you probably know from our previous amp reviews, Rockford Fosgate is one of our all-time favorite brands. T1500-1bdCP is their top-of-the-line 1500W amp. Just like the previous two amps on the list, T1500 has the RMS power output of 1500W (at 1Ω). One of the things that make this amp special is the CP (Constant Power) technology which is a specific circuit topology. Because of this technology, T1500-1bdCP has the same power ratings at 1Ω and 2Ω loads and it can push much more power into 4Ω load than some other 1500W amps. Another great thing about Rockford Fosgate amps is that they are all CEA-2006 compliant (their power ratings are CEA-certified). The only thing that’s not so great about this amp is the price (approx. $800).

Impressions

The amp comes along with the user manual and 2-year warranty. Unlike many other amps, this one doesn’t come with a bass remote. The remote is sold separately which is a bit disappointing considering the price. Wiring kit is also not included but that’s expected. 

The amp is sleek and simple-looking. It’s 14.91in long, 8.14in wide, and 2.14in tall.

T1500-1bdCP features RCA low-level inputs and RCA outputs. There are no high-level inputs and, if your head unit doesn’t have RCA outputs, you will need some high-to-low adapter. 

If you want to adjust the audio output, you can use the variable low-pass crossover filter (35-250Hz) and fixed subsonic filter (set at 28Hz). You also have the bass boost feature (up to 18dB) centered around 45Hz. As you already know, you can install the bass remote, too but you have to buy it separately.

Power ratings and the quality of the output signal are the most impressive characteristics of this amp. If you apply the equation from the introduction, you will get 2304W max power output. The manufacturer was much more conservative – the advertised max power output (at 1Ω) is 1715W. 

RMS ratings are pretty amazing. The amp can push 1500W continuously at 1Ω and 2Ω, and it can push 1000W at 4Ω (with less than 1% distortion). Power ratings are CEA-certified. There are numerous amp dyno tests on YouTube and they all confirm these impressive power ratings. 

The amp is stable at 1Ω and it features overheat, overload, and short circuit protection.

Advantages

  • Sleek and compact
  • Low-level (RCA) inputs and RCA outputs 
  • Variable low-pass crossover filter (35Hz-250Hz) and fixed subsonic filter (28Hz)
  • Adjustable bass boost (0-18dB)
  • CEA-certified power ratings
  • CP (Constant Power) technology
  • Impressive RMS power outputs (1500W at 1Ω and 2Ω, 1000W at 4Ω)
  • Stable and reliable performance with a 1500W/2Ω subwoofer

Disadvantages 

  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t come with a bass remote (sold separately)
  • It lacks high-level inputs

This is the end of our list of 9 best 1500-Watt amps. Hopefully, there was something for you on the list. If you want to keep searching, here’s a short recap of the most important things to pay attention to when buying an amp.

Specs to Check and Things to Pay Attention to When Buying an Amp

Price 

As always, establishing your budget is the first thing we all do when buying any kind of equipment. When it comes to car amps, you can hardly get a powerful amp if you are not prepared to pay more than $100. You see, there are many budget amps on the market but most of them (if not all) are not capable of delivering the advertised power outputs. They will deliver up to 30% of the advertised value which is simply insufficient if you want to install a 500W or 1000W RMS subwoofer. These cheap amps could be a good choice if you want to install two or four small 50-100W RMS speakers but they will never be able to pump 1500W.

Those relatively affordable amps ($100-$200) offer pretty decent performance and, if you are trying to save some money but still get satisfying results, you should set your budget at $200.

If you want the best possible performance and you need something that could pump 1500W continuously, you will have to go big and spend at least $250. The upper limit doesn’t exist – some high-end car amps are priced over $1000. 

Wiring kit 

You should know that car amps rarely come with wiring kits and you will have to order some wiring kit separately. The situation with wiring kits is quite simple. You have two options – cheap kits (usually under $30) with CCA (copper-clad aluminum) wire and pricier kits (up to $100) with OFC (oxygen-free copper) wire. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good wiring kit and buy some good OFC kit if you want the best possible performance. 

Number of speakers/channels

We have already discussed this topic in detail so we are just going to make a summary. You have to decide what kind of upgrade you want to make and, depending on that, you should choose the amp with one, two, three, or more channels. Don’t forget to check the allowed impedance, too. Buying an amp that cannot offer stable performance with your speakers is a waste of money. 

Option 1 adding a subwoofer – mono amp (preferably class-D amp)

Option 2 – replacing two front speakers – at least 2-channel amp (or 4-channel amp in bridged mode)

Option 3 – replacing 4 speakers (2 front and 2 rear speakers) – at least 4-channel amp

Option 4 – replacing all 4 speakers and adding a subwoofer – at least 5-channel amp (preferable 4 class-AB channels and 1 class-D subwoofer channel) or two separate amps 

Power outputs – advertised VS real, RMS VS Peak

Power outputs are probably the most controversial topic when it comes to car amps. It would all be so much easier if there was some kind of mandatory standard and certification process. There’s a car amp standard called CEA-2006 but it’s not obligatory and the manufacturers don’t have to comply with this standard. So, if you have two amps and if they are both advertised as 1500W amps, it doesn’t mean that they can both push that much. There are a few things you can do to establish whether the given power rating is real or not. 

First, check the price. If it’s cheap and it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. Most of the cheap amps (under $100) can output only 30% (or less) of the advertised power rating. So, if it’s rated at 1500W (peak power), it can probably deliver up to 500W. More expensive amps ($100-$200) can actually deliver those advertised power ratings (or even more than that). Some of the amps under $200 are also CEA-2006 certified. Unlike amps under $200, most of the amps over $200 have 1500W RMS output (they can push 1500W continuously). 

In case you want to calculate the approximate max power output, you can use the equation given below. 

The whole point of this story about power ratings is that you are not supposed to take the advertised power ratings for granted. So, check the price, check if the amp is CEA compliant, try to calculate the real power output, and search for Amp Dyno tests on YouTube before buying some amp.

Amplification Type – Type-AB VS Type-D

Class-AB amps are the most common amp type. Most multichannel amps are class-AB. These amps are less efficient and have higher operating temperatures but offer better/fuller midrange and treble reproduction. 

Class-D amps are usually mono amps. They are more efficient and have lower operating temperatures which makes them perfect for powering subwoofers (since they are more power-hungry). So, if you want to install a subwoofer, you should look for class-D amps, and if you want to install 2 or 4 regular speakers, class-AB amp is a better option.

Amp Dimension

Amp dimensions per se are not that important. It’s much more important to compare those dimensions against the available space in your car. Depending on the space you can use, you should choose the appropriate amp. In some cases, you will have to pay attention to the amp height (if you want it to fit under the seat). Also, you will have to leave some additional space (especially when installing class-AB amps) in order to enable good airflow. 

Additional Features

Depending on the type of receiver/head unit (preinstalled or aftermarket), you should be looking for an amp that has high-level (aka speaker level) or low-level (RCA) inputs. In some cases, you will have both input types. Some amps have RCA inputs that can receive both signal types (speaker level and low-level signals).

Depending on the amp type, you will have variable or fixed low-pass and high-pass crossover filters. Some mono amps made for the subwoofers will also have a variable subsonic/infrasonic crossover filter as well as bass remote.

Some amps are bridgeable, others are not. That’s another thing you should consider when buying an amp. Mono amps are not bridgeable but some of them are strappable (you can connect two amps if you need more power). 

Some high-end amps have additional inputs for some advanced technologies like ADAS and HALOSonic. 

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